As William Byron Cranks Up His Consistency, Here’s a Look at His Unprecedented Playoff Dominance


2023 belongs to Byron. Hendrick Motorsports ace William Byron seems to have worn a virtual crown even before the championship race at the Phoenix Raceway. He led the playoff standings with five incredible wins and has refused to climb down the ladder ever since.
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Riding high on the playoff wave, the #24 driver has been a class apart, especially in the second Round of 12. Before he amasses even more laurels in the Round of 8, it is worth remembering Byron‘s incredible playoff journey so far.
Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron had an unparalleled playoff reign
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Prior to this season, William Byron had 4 career Cup race wins. This year, Byron had won 4 races by July. He did not need his 5th win at Watkins Glen to qualify for the playoffs, but it announced his top-seeded entry with a flourish. Despite that, the conversation shifted to his teammate Kyle Larson and Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Denny Hamlin. Chris Buescher’s wins at the end of the regular season brought the RFK Racing driver to prominence, whereas Martin Truex Jr’s receding form occupied expert analysts.
Meanwhile, the #24 driver quietly raced in the shadows, collecting stage and playoff points. When the Round of 16 ended, Byron charged ahead to remind anyone who might have forgotten his incomparable performance this season. All other favorites were discarded in the last three races as a stunned racing community witnessed William Byron’s 6th win, followed by two back-to-back runner-up positions. An unbelievable average finish of 1.6 in the Round of 8 proved he had left his rivals far behind and was now competing against himself. Other than the championship trophy itself, there is no mountain left for Byron to climb.
Not only does he have the most wins this year but also the most stage wins (8), the highest stage points (4041), and the most Top 10 finishes (18). He has tied for the highest Top 5 finishes (13) with Hamlin and Larson. The two of them, along with regular-season champion Truex, currently occupy the Top 4 positions in the playoff standings and are touted to be the most likely championship 4 contenders in Phoenix. But a quick glance at their playoff positions is enough to determine Byron’s playoff supremacy. With an average finish of 5.5 in the six playoff races and the highest playoff points earned (234), William Byron surpassed the other Gibbs-Hendrick luminaries to retain his playoff throne.
Driver Darlington Kansas Bristol Texas Talladega Charlotte Average finish Byron 4th 15th 9th 1st 2nd 2nd 5.5 Truex 18th DNF 19th 17th 18th 20th 21.3 Hamlin 25th 2nd 1st 5th 3rd DNF 12.1 Larson 1st 4th 2nd DNF 15th 13th 11
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Moreover, he has a promising track record in the upcoming playoff races as well.
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The unquestionable playoff ruler is ready to clinch the Round of 8 in Las Vegas
William Byron has recent wins in all three races in the Round of 8. But the #24 driver merely needs to replicate those victories in one of the upcoming tracks to confirm his spot for the final race. And as he realized with his win at the Texas Motor Speedway, the earlier the better.
Now, the next two races are in Las Vegas and Homestead, both 1.5-mile tracks. There have been five other races on intermediate tracks this year and unsurprisingly, Byron scored the best average finish of 4.4 among the 8 playoff contenders. Denny Hamlin is nowhere close to this Hendrick star with the second-best average finish of 10.8.
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Also, Byron began his 2023 winning streak with the Pennzoil 400, the Las Vegas race in March. With his unmatchable pace and exceptional form at the moment, there is no one more suited to conquer the track this Sunday and await the championship 4 race to win the season’s title.
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